Ryan McDonough: 'I need to see better effort from the Celtics going forward'

Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown
Photo credit Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics held a players-only meeting earlier this week to address their fourth-quarter collapse against the Chicago Bulls on Monday and Marcus Smart's postgame comments that expressed frustration with star teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Although the Celtics beat the Orlando Magic on the road Wednesday night, their meeting was reportedly emotional and not wholly productive. Following the win, Celtics first-year head coach Ime Udoka told reporters that the team had scheduled a team gathering and dinner long before any tension emerged.

"They did have a decent bounceback win against a bad Orlando team last night. But I broke down the film of their game Monday night against Chicago and had some pretty significant concerns as far as what I saw defensively," former NBA general manager and current Audacy insider Ryan McDonough told the Reiter Than You show on Thursday. "I have some concerns abut the Celtics. I think they need better defensive effort and intensity.

Podcast Episode
Reiter Than You
Reiter Than You - Ryan McDonough
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

"The talent is there. As I look at the roster, the talent with the starters and the depth, this shouldn't be a 3-5 team in the Eastern Conference. Keep in mind, two of those wins are against Orlando and Houston. So, I need to see better effort from the Celtics going forward, especially on the defensive end of the floor, to think they're even a top-six team in the Eastern Conference."

On Monday night, Smart criticized the team's late-game ball movement, and said that both Tatum and Brown need to learn to create better opportunities for themselves and their teammates. Through eight games, 9.9-percent of the Celtics' possessions have come in isolation, which ranks fifth-highest in the NBA. But in isolation, they're only scoring 0.75 points per possession, which ranks 28th in the league.

Boston will take the floor on Thursday night in a road matchup against the red-hot Miami Heat (6-1). According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Celtics currently have a 55-percent chance to reach the East playoffs.

The entire NBA conversation between McDonough and Reiter can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Reiter Than You show on Twitter @sportsreiter and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports